Minipets are now weightless joy

One of the few parts of WoW that gives me unbridled geeky joy is minipets, which I've proclaimed my love for in the past.

Thanks to mmo-champion for the following blessing from heaven:

Quote from: Nethaera (Source)

We’re pleased to announce a convenient upgrade to the way that mounts and vanity pets are handled in Wrath of the Lich King.

Players will be able to “learn” a mount or non-combat pet much like learning a spell, recipe, or new ability, and these creatures will then show up on a new Pet tab within the Character Info section of the interface. Players will be able to access and preview their learned mounts and vanity pets through this tab.

Once learned, the pet icon or mount icon will no longer appear in bag spaces or bank spaces. This inventory space will be made available once again for other adventuring needs. Pets can still be set to hotkeys by dragging them to the hotkey bar, much like any other spell or ability.

For me, this is like getting an additional mageweave bag on top of my current storage. For my wife? A free Gigantique.

It's funny, I've read a lot of the patch notes, and I'm intellectually excited about changes to my healing priest, tanking warrior, my wife's combat rogue and tanking druid… but this minipet nonsense is the first thing that I read that made me break out a "Woohoo!"

(I'm laughing at myself.)

Achievements, Anonymity and Connecting the Dots

Achievements could be really interesting.

There are the obvious parts, like "wow, I ran Strat all the way through 200 times?" to the nostalgic "yay, I killed Onyxia when it still kinda counted" to the banal "this says I've jumped 350,000 times, I'm going to go re-examine my life".

That's cool stuff and will be very fun to play, but that's not the part that causes me to geek out. What is really interesting is that you can compare your achievements with other people.

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Guilds are not Businesses

Guilds in these online games are completely voluntary, at-will organizations of people. This creates a strange dynamic when it comes to leading.

When I was GM, a good friend of mine in the guild–we'll call him Angus–was excellent at leading groups and raids. He wasn't shy about grabbing a couple of our more passive guildmates and making good things happen like attunement requirements, gear upgrades, and all the rest. In real life, Angus is a confident leader who runs his own business, with employees. His company is successful! I thought, "Wow, he'd be a great officer, maybe even GM!" So he got the nod as officer, and while he was gruff at times, he proved a great asset to the guild.

Over time, I learned that Angus had really been eager to take a shot at leading the guild. We frequently had open conversations among the officers regarding whose turn to lead was coming. So eventually, Angus got the nod.

The problem–and it took months for us to learn this–is that his ability to lead a successful for-profit business involves a completely different skill set than leading a successful voluntary, at-will organization. Angus turned out to be a good boss, but not a great leader.

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Maximum Performance Isn't Always Maximum Fun

This is a thought in progress. A little rambling.

My wife is a combat rogue. Always has been. When she joined the game she fell in love with being a rogue, and she asked what the highest damage version of rogue was. I went off to the internets, and came back with the answer: Combat Sword build. So that's what she chose. When we got to the endgame, she did the most damage in our 40-person raids, virtually every raid. She gave the other dps people fits. (although she never spammed damagemeters) She flourished in that role.

When TBC was released, the raiding game was suspended and everyone is back to the beautiful leveling game for a while. In TBC leveling, there are quest daggers given throughout the leveling process, with rogues in mind. She thought, "why not experiment?" and then rebuilt as Combat Daggers.

Guess what? Combat Daggers is simply more fun to play than combat swords. Managing position and Backstab is more fun than mashing Sinister Strike x1000. To non-rogues, I'm sure this sounds like a minor distinction. It sounded that way to me, and I told her so.

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Secret Design of WoW PvE: Your role in a PvE raid

The series: [Introduction, and a call for comments, Solo Difficulty vs Group Difficulty, PvE vs PvP, Variety vs Specialization, Solo Performer vs Group Utility, Your role in a PvE raid]

This is how every talent tree of every class fits into a pve raid.

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